Men’s Open Fours Preview
It’s that time of the year again, The Bowls Tasmania Gala Week featuring the State Championships across a variety of disciplines. This article is going to focus on the Men’s Fours. And once again, I’m going to put my neck out and predict who is going to win each section, including the one I’m playing in. I mean nothing personal by these selections, I just call it as I see it, but if you think I’m way off, jump on to Facebook and post your predictions and we’ll see who can get the most right!
There are 20 teams battling it out to take the title. All will be bowling at the Invermay Bowls Club, one of which will be crowned champions.
Two teams standout for me in this one and they are scheduled to play each other in the first match of the section. John Bowerman’s entry will be likely skipped by Adam Gurr and also features Peter Zoon & Kane Stewart, all from the East Launceston Bowls Club. They will be up against the ever green David Minns who has an all North Launceston team featuring Myles Baker, Wayne Ogden & Ray Boutcher. It should be an enthralling match between these two experienced teams but I’ll have to give the advantage to David Minns. The other two rinks in the section shouldn’t be taken lightly with Tristan Bakes having previously reached the Semi Final of this competition whilst the Dover RSL team skipped by Chris Norris features some strong youth players which will have no fear. Selection – D Minns.
A tough section, with four quality teams. Luke Richardson is the defending champion playing with Cameron Griffiths, Callum Butler & Rodney (Rocket) Horton and will be tough to beat. They face the Springer brothers first up, who have teamed up with Josh Tyrell & Damien Lewis, it should be interesting to see who skips this as Will Springer plays his best bowl at skip but Tyrell could play some big bowls if given the opportunity. The third team is an interesting mix, Keghan Booth is down to skip, with club mate Michael Taylor as lead and they are joined by two players with a strong future in the sport, Isaac Maughan and Josh Walker-Davis. When Maughan & Walker-Davis are on, they could beat anyone but it’s just about finding that consistency when it counts for these two players. The fourth team is down as an Anthony Clifford entry but will probably be skipped by Luke Turner. I think this rink will find themselves a touch outclassed here but they have the ability to cause an upset or two in the section. I still don’t think you can go past the defending champions. Richardson is a top bowler, how will he handle having the target on his back this year? Selection – L Richardson
Possibly the most one sided of the sections but that can often happen when you have Lee Schraner in a section. He hasn’t gone in light either, with his team of Josh Appleyard, Robert McMullen & Michael Sims. Not only are they favourites for the section, they are the favourites for the overall title. Who are they coming up against? I think their toughest battle will be from Peter Bannister’s rink. It’s a mixture of players from around the state, with David Quarrell & David Heron from East Launceston whilst Steve Graf from Sandy Bay rounds out the four. Bannister will have to be at his best to give them a chance but I think it still might not be good enough. The next best would be Simon Zappa’s team, which is an interesting entry as it appears that Simon Zaporozec isn’t sure how to spell his name and just put Zappa into the online entry. He is joined by the ever confident Corey Bowerman, Peter Barrett & Drew Berwick all members of East Launceston and maybe with experience on their sides may have some tactics to put their younger opponents under pressure. The last rink of N Taylor I don’t have any info on, but maybe going into the event without people knowing who they are playing is just the preparation they need. Selection – L Schraner
The two home teams from Invermay find themselves in the same section with the more favoured combination of Chris Lee, Mark Illingworth, Shane Boden & Gene Ayton a red hot chance to progress. I am informed that Boden may be replaced due to work, so the quality of the replacement may depend on how well this team fares. The other Invermay combination of Nick Bracken, Wayne Cole, Barry Hunt & Dennis Bassett are a lot less experienced but will hope their home grown knowledge of the greens could help them defeat their more fancied opponents. A team that will fancy their chances is Brodie Baker, Alan Gamble, Chris Roach and the mystery man himself A Bowler. Will the mystery man roll up in a mask to keep everyone in suspense? It shouldn’t matter with the quality of the other three players enough to give them a strong show of winning the section. The last rink are my selection to take out the section. It isn’t often I do this, as my teammates don’t usually like it when I put the pressure on them but the rink of Josh Mabb, Michael Sweeney, David Genford & Paul Williamson are my tip. Mabb has just had a strong series as a lead on debut for the Henselite Tasmanian Tigers and skip Williamson has been playing very well since his move from Victoria. It won’t be a lay down misere as I see it as a very close section. Selection – P Williamson.
Whenever a draw gets done, often people look for the group of death. I think I’ve found it. Three of these four teams could be legitimate chances of making the final but only one can move on to the post sectional rounds. The first is the Douce’s, Andrew, David, Greg & Tim will be keen to add to their cabinet of State Championship medals. The honorary Douce, Andrew Whitmore, will be hoping to get the team off to a great start and then sit back and watch the magic. The next team is a who is who of Tasmanian bowls. Named as Chris Dudman, Phil Mundy, Aaron Page & Taelyn Male, this combination could play in any order and be successful, well maybe not Mundy skipping, but you know what I mean. The third team to add to the group of death is Matthew Jackson, Daniel Baker, Lachie Sims & Josh Baker. Again a team that may not play as named and lined with talent. Very difficult to pick out a winner of that three. And then you add the fourth team of Peter Thow, Warren Groves, Michael Chilcott & Eden Moore, a team that are often taken too lightly as these names have been seen in Semi Finals of State Championships in recent years. My advice, don’t fall for the trap of taking them lightly. But I have to pick someone. Ok, lock it in Eddie. Selection – T Male
Stay tuned for Pairs & Singles previews over the coming days. Good luck to all teams!